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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : May 10, 2013

UK luxury sector: greatest challenge engaging new generation of consumers

The luxury sector in the UK is set to double in the next five years, according to annual research from Ledbury Research and Walpole British Luxury, with the greatest challenge being engaging a new generation of consumers.

by Helen Leggatt

Walpole, a not-for-profit organization representing the interests of over 180 British brands and institutions (including Harrods, Jimmy Choo, Royal Opera House and Selfridges), has released the findings of its annual UK luxury benchmark survey.

The findings reveal that the UK luxury industry is set for strong growth over the next five years almost doubling in size from $10.2 billion in 2012 to $18.8 billion in 2017. In 2013, the sector is set to grow 12% to $11.4 billion.

"Despite the backdrop of the Eurozone crisis and a difficult economic environment, the UK luxury industry remains extremely robust and is forecast to grow significantly in size," says Julia Carrick, Chief Executive of Walpole British Luxury.

The key to growth is innovation, says James Lawson, director at Ledbury Research. Last year saw luxury brands embrace social media and e-commerce, but moving through 2013 it is mobile that will become a key channel. Double the number of survey respondents will be investing in mobile this year, compared to last year.

The addition of mobile will go a long way towards addressing a challenge that 98% of luxury brands feel they will be facing this year - the engagement of the next generation.

"It's absolutely right that digital innovation is a priority for luxury brands. Customers no longer only associate shopping online with bargains and as a result digital now opens many doors for high-end retailers, allowing them to create an exclusive shopping experience for their online audience across the web, social, mobile and tablet," said Mark Haviland, MD, Rakuten Marketing, in response to the news.

"An array of style blogs and pioneering digital publishers can provide luxury retailers with the e-commerce tools to target hyper connected consumers, whilst echoing their own quality brand values at the same time. Through sophisticated features, such as dynamic ads with 360 degree products views and interactive video, digital can truly drive the growth of luxury."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: e-commerce, industry report, luxury, mobile, social marketing, UK

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